Mindfulness

Coaches’ Corner: Talking to Your Members About Nutrition

The nutrition and fitness worlds are very connected. Not only does one industry impact the other, but together they can often become a lifestyle for those who are passionate and find joy in both.

That’s why so many nutrition coaches also participate in fitness coaching (and vice-versa). Whether you’re already a Certified WAG Coach, you want to be or you’re just looking for ways to spread your passion for a healthy lifestyle, this is for you!

Today, we’re sharing our top 10 tips for chatting all things nutrition with your gym members.

1. Set the expectation – Whether it’s a group on-ramp or one-on-one intro class, use the opportunity of new members joining your community and take a few minutes to discuss nutrition and goal setting with them early on. This is a great way to get your members thinking about their goals while also giving you the opportunity to know what they hope to accomplish so you can better help them get there.

2. Be a good host  Organizing “Nutrition Nights” is a great way to get your entire community involved. Give a short presentation and provide your members with the opportunity to learn, connect and ask questions. Remember, most people come to a gym in search of a community. It’s up to you to provide that for them and promote a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle.

3. Keep it relevant – Write a nutrition tip on the board before class (or at the end of class during your cooldown) and share it with the class as you discuss the daily workout.

4. Share the “why” – Athletes love learning about ways to improve their performance and recovery. If you provide concrete examples of how nutrition can positively impact how they feel during their workouts, they’ll be excited to learn and may find the motivation to make a change. This is something that can be shared during the class, and then also followed up with email or another way you “virtually” communicate with your members.

A few examples you can share are:

  • “Vegetables have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help support proper muscle signaling and may improve muscle recovery.”[1]
  • “Dialing in your nutrition allows you to learn how much fuel your body needs to crush your workouts and recover optimally. Many people aren’t eating enough!”
  • “Getting a mix of protein and carbs after your training session kick-starts the recovery process so you can come back feeling even STRONGER tomorrow!”[2]

5. Get social – Do you have a gym Facebook group, website, blog or Instagram? Utilize these social platforms to help educate your community by sharing recipes and small, actionable nutrition tips for your community.

6. Make it obvious – Create a "goal board" for your athletes to set intentions for both performance and nutrition goals.

7. Host a challenge – Nutrition and habit challenges are great ways to get your community involved in a little friendly and inspiring competition. Instead of a challenge that excludes, we encourage an inclusion challenge that focuses on:

  • Whole foods
  • Servings of veggies per day
  • Protein intake
  • Hydration
  • Sleep
  • Recovery

Assign points to different habits or nutrition goals and see who can rack ’em up!

8. Ask questions – If you notice an athlete struggling through a workout or having an off day, ask them how they’re feeling. Get curious about what they ate before the workout, what their hydration has been like or how much they slept the night before. Get them thinking about how different aspects of their life play into how they feel in the gym.

9. Lead by example – Not only will your results speak for themselves, but athletes are also much more likely to trust you if they see that you’re practicing what you preach.

10. Offer nutrition coaching – This gives your members the ability to further their fitness goals with YOU—a coach they trust! Their nutrition programs can be specifically tailored to their needs as athletes given what you know about their lifestyles and training schedules. In-house nutrition coaching deepens your relationship with your members and deepens your members’ relationships with each other. They will be able to lean on each other for motivation and support!

Did you know that you can apply to be a WAG Affiliate? That’s right, we’ll teach you the ins and outs of nutrition coaching so that you can add another expertise to your resume and increase your success in coaching your own members. If you’re curious, email affiliate@workingagainstgravity.com for more information!

Did we miss anything? We would love to hear what you’re doing to get your community excited!

Resources:

  1. Quintero, K. J., Sa Resende, A., Leite, G. S., & Lancha, A. H. (2018). An overview of nutritional strategies for recovery process in sports-related muscle injuries. Nutrire, 43(27). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41110-018-0084-z
  2. Fink, H. H., & Mikesky, A. E. (2018). Practical applications in sports nutrition (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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